In the last 30 years, just one horse older than six has tasted success in the Tote+ Victoria Cup, such is the task that faces Henry Candy’s 10-year-old Greenside.
However, with two placed efforts in two big Ascot handicaps in the last 18 months, the veteran doesn’t look done with things just yet.
The son of Dubawi was last seen running a stormer to finish third in the Balmoral Handicap, finishing off his race well. Having looked touch and go as to whether he’d be ready for this weekend’s big handicap, his trainer reports him in fine fettle for his Ascot return.
“Greenside has hopefully returned to something like full health in the nick of time, having looked a bit dull last week,“ Candy told Tote.
Last season’s performances, highlighted by a hard-fought victory at Haydock saw Greenside take his official rating up to a peak of 101, a career high. Now well into his veteran years, his trainer suspects he might just come on for the run in Berkshire this weekend.
“Not many horses gain a three figure rating at the age of nine. Now a ten year old, I think he will need his first run, but he seems as enthusiastic as ever and I am sure he will enjoy being back at Ascot to try and win back his owner’s sponsorship money.”
Owned by Tote CEO Alex Frost, Greenside has carried his colours since 2014 and while it looked as though the journey with the horse had come to an end four years ago, his gelding wasn’t quite ready for the quiet life.
“We retired him as a 6yo but after a few months he was moving around the paddocks at great speed – hence he returned to training as a 7yo and has loved every minute since!” his owner explained.
Greenside will be only the third 10-year-old to line up in the Victoria Cup in 30 years, with Jim Goldie’s Dhaular Dar finishing 23rd in 2012, while Mine fared a bit better in 2008, finishing eighth, a record Frost knows his charge has to improve on.
“The stats on 10-year-old’s winning Cheltenham Gold Cups are better than Victoria Cups but it’s been a long standing plan to run in the race,” he told Tote.
“Ascot course form on soft ground will be critical and he has apparently been better than ever on the gallops at home this Spring. It’s a crazy cavalry charge but anything close to his Balmoral form level would I hope make him a consideration for those chasing the £120k Tote Trifecta rollover!”
That rollover could ensure the biggest Tote Trifecta pool we’ve seen in some time, with punters required to pick the first three home in order to claim a share of the spoils.
Whether Greenside makes it into your three or not, the bet can be placed for as little as 50p, with penny lines meaning punters can perm up multiple horses without breaking the bank.
For Candy and Frost, a spot in that Tote+ Victoria Cup first three will no doubt cap a fantastic career for their 10-year-old stalwart.